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This page describes a brainstorm / work in progress. It is not stable or usable in Production at this time. If this is ever released, you'll hear about it in a future release!The initial version of this feature has been merged into "master" and will be released in 7.0 final.


In the past we've had several discussions/attempts at making DSpace easier to install (e.g. Installer PrototypeInstaller Brainstorms). 


This proposal is to begin to utilize the tools in Spring Boot to turn DSpace's "backend" webapps (REST API, OAI-PMH, SWORD, SWORDv2, RDF) into a single, easy to install webappAt this time, I'm concentrating only on the backend webapps, as they are all Java webapps. So, it does not include the new Angular UI.  I'm also specifically excluding the old REST API (v4-6), as it is deprecated in DSpace 7 (and will be removed in DSpace 8).


  1. Keep each as a separate Maven module
  2. Turn each Maven module into a JAR (i.e. update each module's POM)
  3. Add a new dependency on Spring Boot (spring-boot-starter-web), to allow each module to use Spring Boot annotations/APIs.
  4. Replace each module's web.xml webapp configuration with a Spring @Configuration class (defining several @Beans).  This is a direct replacement for the web.xml concept.
    1. For example, in PR#2265, replaces SWORDv1's web.xml
      1. Notice how the class defines a series of @Beans, all of which can be enabled/disabled via DSpace configuration (in this case a "sword-server.enabled" property).
      2. Additionally, this class can pull in other DSpace configuration/settings to allow for path customization (see the "swordPath" variable in this example, which reads from the "sword-server.path" configuration)
  5. Remove the Overlay folder for the module (from [dspace-src]/dspace/modules/).  The Maven Overlay concept is only supported by WARs, and therefore, all Overlays would be applied to the Spring Boot webapp.

An example The implementation of this can be found in this work-in-progress the initial PR:


If the backend is all one webapp, what should this webapp be called?

Good question.  Currently, the work-in-progress PR leaves this Spring Boot webapp named "dspace-spring-rest" (i.e. it's the REST API v7 module).  But, if this one webapp now includes all modules, we may want to consider giving it a more generic name to make it clear that it's much more than just the REST API.This was discussed in a DSpace 7 Working Group meeting, and it was decided that the single webapp will be named "dspace-server", as it comprises the primary "server-side" components of DSpace 7. 

(NOTE: Technically, there is also a server-side portion to the Angular UI to precompile UI pages in support of SEO, etc.  However, as the Angular UI is primarily a client side user interface, we still feel this single webapp is most appropriately called the "server" webapp.)